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Quick-fix weekend makeover

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

By Lesley Taylor

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AT this time of year, we often start thinking about changes we would like to make in preparation for the festive season, ready for when friends and family come to stay.

We all want our homes to look their best before guests arrive and although I don't want to wish time away, I would recommend that you start implementing a few quick-fixes now to avoid a last minute rush!

An interior design project can be as big or small, costly or inexpensive, extravagant or understated as you like. It is up to you.

Even those of you that are restricted in terms of budget or time can take part in giving your home the update it deserves.

Dedicate a weekend to revamping either a certain room of the home, or the entire house depending on how much work you are willing to take on.

This isn't about making dramatic changes, but making small adjustments that will make a big difference!

It's important to treat your home with the care and attention it deserves, updating and revamping, just like you would with your wardrobe.

In the same respect, the latest trends and colours can be taken from the fashion catwalk and incorporated into your surroundings.

Here are some easy design fixes that will help you to update your existing decor with minimal effort.

The power of paint is often underestimated. Not only is it an affordable option, but almost anyone with a few hours spare and a decent paint brush and roller can tackle a worn-out set of walls.

Applying a lick of paint to a room may take up a good part of the day but the effects will be long lasting.

A fresh coat will instantly transform a tired looking space into a fresh and inviting environment.

The fun part is choosing a colour that will bring your chosen space to life.

Brown shades from the warm side of the colour wheel in lighter tones such as Mocha, Latte and Cappuccino are very popular at the moment and will help to give the room warmth and a classic appeal in time for the winter season.

Neutral shades of cream and white are great for accessorising; with a neutral palette as a base, you can implement the season's latest en-vogue items to create a look and feel that is fresh and current, without the need for a total revamp!

Feature walls are great for grabbing attention, giving a room character and ensuring an element of individuality.

Even better, because you're only dealing with a small area, it can be really quick and easy to get great results. Depending on the style you want to achieve, there are a number of options available.

A striking shade of paint, maybe anthracite grey, textured stone tiles or even a roll of patterned wallpaper could be all that's needed to give your living room, bedroom or bathroom a sense of identity.

With the latest trend for all things kitsch, pastel shades have also made a welcome return, so if you fancy injecting a sense of colour into a room; this is the perfect way to add fun and personality!

It is surprising how much a good clear out and an afternoon of reorganisation can make. Get rid of any unnecessary clutter, cleanse any messy surfaces and bin that pile of magazines that has been sitting around for the last two years.

Not only will this improve the energy in your home, but you'll be surprised at how rejuvenated you will feel and how clearer your thoughts will become.

This is one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest ways in which you can enhance your home, not to mention one that will have the most powerful effect, so don't delay!

Investing in some new storage solutions will help you to keep your home feeling ordered.

Whether you are catering for the living room or the bathroom, there is now a whole host of storage options available as homes are becoming more compact, yet we somehow manage to still have the same amount of clutter!

Changing the lighting in your home can have a lasting positive effect.

If your home features very basic lighting that incorporates one pendant with a simple on/off switch, add a simple, inexpensive dimmer switch, which can be purchased from any local DIY store.

This will allow you to adjust the ambience of room in accordance to how the space is being used. If you are having a long, soothing soak in the bath, dimming the lights will help to create a relaxing ambience and can completely transform both the look and feel of the room.

Learn to have fun with accessories. Start with a basic colour scheme and invest in the latest trend pieces to transform your room without over spending.

The addition of a few cushions, throws and mirrors will work wonders. If you are working with a contemporary interior you may choose to include cushions and throws in neutral, organic shades, or those in a bold, block colour to add life to a plain décor.

For the more vintage, or country style of home, combining a variety of different patterns, textures and materials will work to create an eclectic scheme.

Accessories can work to enhance a theme and enrich the overall look that you are trying to achieve, so choose wisely and remember that sometimes less is more.

Changing the layout of a room can also make a difference. A few changes to the position of furniture or a television can bring life to the room, emphasise the space available and add an element of excitement all in a days work. Maybe let the inconspicuous chair that's been hiding in the corner take centre stage in the middle of the room just for a change.

It really is the simple things that will have the most impact. Why not replace existing furniture handles with sparkly new ones or remove the tie backs from your traditional looking curtains to reveal a revitalised contemporary finish. You will be amazed what you can achieve in a short space of time!

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